Houston Texans safety and cancer survivor Andre Hal announced his retirement on Tuesday, saying his decision was not health-related.
“One thing I’ve learned in life is that change is inevitable and life goes through seasons,” the 26-year-old wrote on social media. “This season of my life has come to an end. I will be retiring from the NFL.”
Hal was diagnosed last June with Hodgkin lymphoma after experiencing blurry vision while practicing.
Four months later, with the cancer in remission, he returned to the Texans and played in eight regular-season games and their playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
“My health did not have anything to do with my decision,” Hal wrote Tuesday. “I am completely healthy.
“Thank you to the Houston Texans organization for giving me the opportunity to live my childhood dream. I also want to thank my family and friends for all of their support. I truly appreciate it.”
Hal, a product of Vanderbilt, was selected by the Texans in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in 69 games with the Texans (40 starts) and tallied 12 career interceptions and 185 tackles.
Houston coach Bill O’Brien called Hal “the epitome of what it means to be a Houston Texans player.”
“What he overcame last season is nothing short of incredible and is an inspiration to every single person in this building,” O’Brien said in a statement. “Over the last five years, Andre’s leadership, infectious personality in the locker room and play-making skills on the field were instrumental to our success. He’s what this place is all about.”
Used mostly as a free safety, Hal also saw action at strong safety and linebacker.
“When constructing a team, Andre Hal is the type of player you look for,” Texans general manager Brian Gaine said. “His personal and football character as well as his team-first attitude were evident from the first day he stepped foot in our facility and was exemplified by his willingness to change positions and do what’s best for the team. We appreciate everything Andre has given to this organization over the last five years and we wish him all the best.”
—Field Level Media